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What is your favourite chippy tea?

All across the nation, chip lovers will be celebrating this week by eating their favourite style of potato chip.

Now a days they come in a variety of styles like straight cut, crinkle cut, southern fried and curly styles and I’m sure the list could go on. However I think the majority of the British public will agree, you can’t beat a great freshly cooked potato chip from the local chippy!

I know for convenience oven chips are a good alternative but I believe they will never live up to the freshly cooked variety. Standing in the chip shop queue, hearing the sizzle from a new supply of potato hitting the hot fat, I can smell them cooking now and then to top it off, the vapour of the vinegar hits the back of my nose and it’s at that point that I can’t wait to get home & devour them.

When I walk in the door and shout we’ve got chips for tea, the variety of condiments that have to come out of the cupboard to meet everyone’s exact taste is far away from the good old fashioned salt, vinegar and ketchup. If I was still living in Sheffield I would choose to have gravy on my chips much to my husband’s disgust! He loves them with brown sauce and if my daughter was allowed she would have a combination of all three. I know other favourites are curry sauce, mushy peas and even melted cheese.

I can’t remember the last time I asked for an ‘open’ wrap at the chip shop but as a rule, we only eat chips when I am running late from work and they are a quick solution. I have always thought the best way to eat chips is straight out of the paper, they seem to taste so much better than just lying on a plate and why does everyone get so excited at the thought of chips for tea?

There are so many different foods that can accompany chips, they seem to go with everything but my favourite has to be egg & chips. That doesn’t mean I don’t like them with steak, chicken or even scampi but chips are great for soaking up sauces or golden runny egg yolks.

Here are a few interesting facts & figures provided by Chip Week:

  • More than 1.6 million tonnes of potatoes are made into chips every year in the UK weighing the same as over 14,000 blue whales or 4,000 jumbo jets.
  • The land required to grow potatoes for chips is 33,664 hectares – big enough to fit London’s Hyde Park 237 times, or 47,000 Wembley football pitches.
  • Over 250 million fish and chip meals are sold in the UK each year.
  • In one year we eat nearly three billion meals containing chips, with dinnertime the most popular time to eat them (64%) and tea time the second favourite (24%).
  • Brits use at least 26 different words for fish and chips.
  • Using the right spuds for chips can make all the difference – to ensure your chips are lovely and fluffy try King Edward or Maris Piper.

Convenience food and takeaways like fish and chips do often contain high levels of saturated fat, sugar and salt and in high doses they can be harmful to you, especially if you have existing medical conditions.

If you suffer from heart disease or high cholesterol you may want to re-consider how many times to treat yourself to this kind of food because of the high levels of saturated fat it contains. Too much salt in the diet has been associated with the increased risk of high blood pressure, which is a known risk factor to strokes and people with diabetes will need to be aware of any hidden sugars.

I enjoy a takeaway now and again just as much as the next person standing in the queue however, the thought of the increased levels of saturated fat, sugar and salt in my body and the harm they could be doing to my health, does make me think twice about eating them regularly.

I believe moderation is the key! If you are of a healthy weight, enjoy exercise, don’t smoke and keep your alcohol intake to the recommended quantities, I think everyone should be able to enjoy a fish and chip supper now and again.

Remember when travelling abroad and experiencing other cultures and foods, it may be more difficult to translate food labels and restaurant menus into English. To ensure you do not aggravate any pre-existing medical conditions always seek assistance, rather than have an unplanned visit to the local medical centre.